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The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War Hardcover – 17 Oct 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (17 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184668272X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846682728
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 5.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

The War that Ended Peace tells the story of how intelligent, well-meaning leaders guided their nations into catastrophe. These epic events, brilliantly described by one our era's most talented historians, warn of the dangers that arise when we fail to anticipate the consequences of our actions. Immersed in intrigue, enlivened by fascinating stories, and made compelling by the author's own insights, this is one of the finest books I have read on the causes of World War I. (Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State)

Once again, Margaret MacMillan proves herself not just a masterly historian but a brilliant storyteller. She brings to life the personalities whose decisions, rivalries, ambitions, and fantasies led Europe to "lay waste to itself" and triggered decades of global conflict. Hers is a cautionary tale of follies a century in the past that seem all too familiar today. (Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution)

The War That Ended Peace is a masterful explanation of the complex forces that brought the Edwardian world crashing down. Utterly riveting, deeply moving, and impeccably researched, MacMillan's latest opus will become the definitive account of old Europe's final years (Amanda Foreman)

splendidly well written - fluent, engaging, well-paced and, despite the grim subject, often entertaining (Richard Overy New Statesman)

magisterial...rich and suggestive... MacMillan is a wry and humane chronicler of this troubled world... lively and sophisticated... as MacMillan observes in a closing sentence that is well worth taking to heart, 'there are always choices' (Christopher Clark London Review of Books)

She writes prose like an Audi - purring smoothly along the diplomatic highway, accelerating effortlessly as she goes the distance. This is a ground-breaking book, decisively shifting the debate away from the hoary old question of Germany's war guilt. MacMillan's history is magisterial - dense, balanced and humane. The story of Europe's diplomatic meltdown has never been better told. (Jane Ridley Spectator)

The Canadian historian laces The War That Ended Peace with deft character sketches and uses sources incisively...MacMillan escorts the reader skilfully through the military, diplomatic and political crises that framed the road to war from 1870 to 1914. (Tony Barber FT)

Margaret MacMillan, the author of Peacemakers , which won numerous prizes, is that wonderful combination - an academic and scholar who writes well, with a marvellous clarity of thought. Her pen portraits of the chief players are both enjoyable and illuminating. Among the cascade of books arriving for the anniversary, this work truly stands out (Antony Beevor Times)

MacMillan is a perceptive guide to the thought processes of the key players (Simon Griffith Mail on Sunday)

excellent, elegantly written book...as fine an assessment of the reason peace failed as any yet written (Saul David Evening Standard)

Few historians have better credentials to write about the origins of the First World War than the Oxford scholar Margaret MacMillan...with its lovely elegant style, keen eye for human foibles and impeccable attention to detail, this is one of the most enjoyably readable books of the year (Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times)

A sweeping but immensely readable account...an impressive feat (Bronwen Maddox Prospect)

MacMillan's superb and very entertainingly written guide to this Europe - a Europe, as she shows, similar to our own in some ways, but very different in others - will be warmly welcomed by different kinds of reader. Those who "know" the subject will find new perspectives and new ways of looking at it, while those less familiar with it could hardly find a better introduction or a better basis for judging some of the centenary polemics we now face. (Roger Morgan Times Higher Education)

[A] richly textured account of the road to war (David Blackbourn Guardian)

Magnificent...The War That Ended Peace will certainly rank among the best books of the centennial crop. (The Economist)

vivid, gripping and scholarly (Piers Brendon Independent)

monumental...sharply observed, pacy book (Lionel Barber FT Books of the Year)

the most balanced and readable study of the first world war's causes (Tony Barber FT Books of the Year)

a fascinating must-read book for anyone who wants to understand the centenary of this event next August, and Ireland's place within it (Ruairí Quinn Irish Times Books of the Year)

brilliant...the author is not merely a fine scholar...but she is also terrifically sensible, a rare combination (Max Hastings Mail on Sunday Books of the Year)

...one of the most incise and brilliant narratives of the causes of the greatest tragedy of the 20th century... (The Sydney Morning Herald 2014-02-22)

Book Description

The definitive history of the political, cultural, military and personal forces which shaped Europe's path to the Great War

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